It couldn’t be summer. A’ight, so the Holyland is deserted, it’s spitting rain ⅝ of the time, and it’s not quite the 37° I grew up with in Atlanta. (I’ve mostly gotten over that. Mostly.) But this summer otherwise shattered my typical assumptions a couple weeks ago, at our fourth of the VI readings: Folks turned up. Had to turn a couple people away at the door (Blick Studios, beautiful but tiny), had to run out and get more wine. In early July? In Belfast? Go figure.

Good to see folks there – made for good post-show chat, and there was plenty to discuss. My folks were in town visiting (“I love the weather here, honey, it’s so breezy” –Mum), and I think my dad cornered the author (William Patterson) to hash out parallels between the ‘80s student punk scene in his play (Some Kind of Stranger) and the anti-war movement in the States during Vietnam.

So we’re four down, two to go. It’s been a good run – check out the videos here on our site, and meet the writers via Tammy Moore’s interviews on Culture Northern Ireland.  It’s been a trip working with all of them – and not just for what they put on the page and where we take it in the development process. Hard to guess what else ends up in the accidental mix: Margaret Irish and I swapped amateur insights on astrology and the beauty of writing on trains. Neil Edwards was graciously able to contain his rage when I brought up the group stage of the World Cup. Jaki McCarrick, I discovered, might have the most energetic and supportive blog on the island. I can always count on Michael Shannon to masterfully ridicule my crush on Peter Capaldi. William Patterson is a perfect ambassador for creativity within Whitehall (free the civil service!). And during a recent private reading (part of the script development for September’s upcoming reading VI, The Kitchen the Bedroom, and the Grave), Donal O’Hagan got us talking about the theory of knowledge – somehow, I don’t think we’ve exhausted the topic ...

Speaking of which, Neil Edwards’ School of Thought is our fifth reading (12th August, 7pm at Blick). A sliver of time to unwind, watch, and see what topics the wine suggests afterward. Talk to you there.

E

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